Division embarked on an epic ocean voyage that was destined to end in disaster. Steve Snelling charts the extraordinary story of the longest and most controversial troop convoy in British military history.
It was an unforgettable encounter in the midst of one of the most dangerous areas for shipping in a world at war: the Atlantic. Peering out from a converted ocean liner, part of a scantily protected convoy crammed with British troops, Tony Ferrier of the Royal Norfolk Regiment could scarcely believe his eyes. Bearing down on them was an enormous fleet bristling with battleships, cruisers, destroyers and at least one aircraft carrier. “I thought: God, we must have run into the German navy.”
He wasn’t alone in fearing the worst. Royal Norfolk soldier Charlie Carpenter was “convinced this was the end”. By now, the convoy was being buzzed by swarms of aircraft that were diving, twisting, climbing and diving again in an impressive show of strength.